Duelund conversion to DIY Helix Geometry Cabling


I have been an avid user of the Duelund cabling for over two years now and have used them exclusively in my system with great results. I have built many for friends and have used a full loom of interconnects, speaker cables, power cords and an extensive wiring modification for a previously owned balanced power conditioner utilizing Duelund 600V PolyCast wiring which was transformative. My cabling desires can be a little addictive as I have owned and evaluated 40+ brands of cabling costing more than an entire stereo system!

Over the past six months I stumbled upon a thread here on Audiogon in regards to a Helix designed cabling and as you probably already know, I just had to look a little deeper into this cable design…After a month of studying and sourcing parts, I decided to reach out to the designer/architect, Williewonka who gave more insights and philosophy on how the cable came into existence.

That conversation got the ball rolling in converting one of my KLE Duelund interconnects to Steve’s Helix designed which only entailed replacing the neutral with a Mil-Spec 16 AWG silver-plated copper wire with the neural wire being 3 times longer than the signal wire and of course the “Coiling” of the neutral wire : )

After the modification was complete, I was not sure what to expect from the Helix cabling but I was quite shocked with the results with “ZERO” burn-in time…The sound stage became much wider/deeper with a much tighter/focused image and clarity/transparency is like nothing I have ever heard in any cabling regardless of cost. In fact, I just sold a full loom of a commercially designed Helix Cable that’s renowned around the world and has more direct sale than any cable manufacturer; these $200 DIY Helix Cables walked all over them…

I believe you will hear the same results as I have and have heard back from friends who have already modified their Duelunds with the same results; WOW! Remember the cables will need 200+ hours to burn-in and settle into your system. My system is now 90% DIY Helix to include IC, SC, PC and Coax with each cabling adding its beauty of an organic and natural presentation that draws you into the fabric of the music.

You can tailor the sound of your cables using Duelund, Mundorf silver/1% gold, the outstanding Vh Audio OCC Solid Copper or Silver with Airlok Insulation or your favorite wiring and you can change it at any time…

 

http://www.image99.net/blog/files/category-diy-cables.html

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/difference-in-sound-between-copper-and-silver-digital-cables

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/adding-shielding-to-existing-cables

 

Enjoy,

Wig


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@ divertiti - I have tried both Neotech and VH Audio UP-OCC wires in identical interconnects and I was unable to tell the difference when both wires are bare - i.e. as a twisted pair.

I cannot find Parts Express bare UP-OCC wire - please provide a link

Parts Connexion does have a bare UP-OCC bare wire

The UP-OCC process is quite precise and the Parts Connexion bare UP-OCC wire SHOULD BE of a comparable quality to both Neotech and VH Audio.

But I think the improvements observed are more related to the insulation (or lack of), when opting for the Teflon tube method, which contributes greatly to the clarity, details and image, regardless of wire brand

The Bare wire in the Teflon tube was, for me, the icing on the cake!

Compared to some of the other changes I’ve made over the past 8 - 10 months this was one of the more significant.

Before deciding to post my observations of the Bare Wire approach I applied a lot of thought about the issue of oxidation, but as I proceeded changing all my cables I was able to see how the oxidation over that time was much less of an issue than originally anticipated, i.e. provided the ends of the Teflon tube was sealed.

It became evident over that time, that this particular change was well worth the additional effort, since the risk of oxidation was in fact quite low and the benefits so compelling

So - "The Juice", was definitely worth "The Squeeze"

Hope that helps - Steve
AND NOW - FOR THE TECHNICALLY MINDED....

Unwanted Energy Storage in Cables - Dielectric Constant | Lectromec

A very good CONCISE (and easy to understand) article 

Happy Reading - Steve
Here Are my impressions after working with both the Neotech wire and the VH audio wire with the Teflon insulation in tact. I find the Neotech wire to be warmer, bigger soundstage, and slightly better dynamics. I am a sucker for a big stage and warmth so therefore prefer the Neotech.

The VH Audio has more air and sparkle and also reveals inner details slightly better.

In terms of stripping off the Teflon and the sonic differences between that and leaving the Teflon on the Neotech wire, here is what I found in my system based on my preferences. Removing the Teflon opened up the sound a tad and improved details and resolution. However, I found this could be too much of a good thing in my system. I lost a little of the darkness and warmth that I do like with the Teflon in place. In the end I preferred a stripped Air USB combined with the Teflon left in place on my ICs. . I found that balance to be perfect for me and my particular taste.

My system is very resolving and easily reflects any small change I make. I am certainly biased towards the warm, rich and full bodied end of the sound spectrum. I even like a little bit of darkness with the stage set back. I will easily sacrifice detail for warmth and a midrange centric sort of sound. My ears are VERY sensitive to upper mids and are easily upset if there is the slightest bit of extra energy there. 
I have a system that tends to be a little on the bright side, and emphasizes any glare or upper mid grit or grain.  For my I.C.s I found that if I replaced the silver plated mil-spec ground wire with Neotech stranded copper with teflon, that combo gave me the benefits of the helix geometry while also keeping my system from getting too revealing of less than ideal recordings. I have never tried the VH audio wire, but it sounds like that might work exceptionally well in my system too.  I am also happy to sacrifice a little detail and resolution for warmth and musicality.  The stranded copper ground wire didn't add any mid-bass emphasis or loosen up the bass in general, so the effect seemed limited to a more neutral / relaxed upper midrange and treble. 
HELIX IMAGE (Air) power cable update - from my earlier post dated 02-14-2021 8:05am above

So the wire arrived this week for my 2 x 16 gauge version of the Helix IMAGE (Air) power cable and I’ve had the cables in the system for a couple of days burning in but the improvements where noticeable from the first track.

The old cables had 1 x 12 gauge BARE Neotech UP=OCC solid copper inside Teflon tube with cotton sleeve.

The new cables have 2 x 16 gauge BARE Neotech UP=OCC solid copper twisted together inside Teflon tube with cotton sleeve. The Teflon tube was the same diameter as on the 1 x 12 gauge version
i.e.
PTFE 10 Tubing - Thin Wall Teflon Tubing In A Variety Of Gauges - (takefiveaudio.com)

Since I was just upgrading the existing cables the Neutral remain unchanged - 2 x 12 gauge silver plated mil-spec stranded copper

Well, the Schroeder Double Barrel approach has triumphed yet again !

The improved articulation of the music was the most noticeable, with a more expansive image, where the placement of the instruments just seemed to be very precise, with pinpoint accuracy. The old 1 x 12 power cables were very good, just not THIS good.

There now seems to be more layers I had not noticed before and on some tracks I now hear little things e.g. bell strikes that I had not noticed before - so clarity had improved also.

As I listened, there was a nice smoothness to the upper end, especially the violins. The mid’s had a nice natural fullness to them and the bass went deeper but again with even more textures than previous iterations of the cables.

By comparison, the older cables makes me think they were perhaps a little on the "Clinical" side, because I very much like this new warmth.

Will the 2 x 16 gauge version work for Amps?
  • right now, this appears to improve the low end a little
  • however, the improvements over the existing 1 x 12 gauge version were no where near as apparent as with the source components
  • I think I will move to a 2 x 14 gauge version for the amp to see if it yields any significant improvements.
The difference in findings between the source components and the amp is no real surprise.
Since my Bryston B135 amp has seperate transformers/power supplies for PRE-Amp and L & R channels. Whereas the power supplies in my source components are not of the same ablity.

I chose 2 x 16 gauge simply because it fit into this Teflon Tube that I had on hand

So why does 2 x 16 work better than 1 x 12 ???
Here’s an extract from the article in this link...
electricity - Do electrons jump from one wire to another if they are of different materials? - Physics Stack Exchange

If electrons were not able to flow between two different conductors in contact with one another, we would not be able to make any connections in an electrical circuit that feeds loads. So obviously they can flow between conductors in contact with one another (twisted,or otherwise).

The term "jump" invokes the wrong impression that electrons need to leap through the air from one conductor to another, although as explained below arcing is possible at the conductor interface.

Although electrons don’t have to "jump" between the conductors, it is more difficult for electrons to cross between two physically different conductors due to microscopic irregularities at the contact surfaces with points of contact and areas of non contact. Overall, this gives rise to what is referred to as contact resistance at the interface. Contact resistance, which is greater than the resistance of the conductor themselves,

So taking this into account, even IF the two wires ARE touching it is "almost as if" they were insulated from each other until they reach the ends, where the solder provide a better "path" for electrons to move across

So then, with two strands of wire twisted together - the impedance of the "conductor" is half that of a single wire.

But the conundrum here is - why aren’t 4 wires even better?

I have tried 4 x 18 gauge VH Audio UPP-OCC copper in AirLok insulation (effectively a 12 gauge cable) and it was not as good as the 1 x 12 gauge in Teflon, but of all the combinations tried 2 x 12 seems superior - strange ???

Getting the very best out of the Helix IMAGE (Air) Power cables is very much dependent on the components in the system.

You could opt for a single "architecture" e.g. 2 x 14 gauge Bare wire inside Teflon for all power cables.

You may opt to insert each wire inside it’s own teflon tube or twist them together inside a single tube

Personally - i am going to stick with the 2 x 16 gauge in a single tube for Source components.

And perhaps a 2 x 14 gauge bare wire twisted together inside this larger teflon tube
Convoluted Teflon Tubing - Convoluted Teflon Tubing Flexes Without Kinking - (takefiveaudio.com)

As always - I will keep you updated on the outcome

But try the Double Shotgun method - it works - REALLY WELL !!!

Cheers - Steve